Thursday, October 25, 2018

William L. Clements Library Research Fellowships for 2019

After visiting the Clements Library, one of our fellows had this to say about the experience:
“The Clements Library not only has an amazing variety of rich collections but also an incredibly helpful, professional staff. During the approximately two and a half months I spent as a Fellow at the William L. Clements Library, I was able to make significant progress on my book manuscript. I made extensive use of the library's rich collections of manuscripts, rare books, maps, and graphic materials. Over the course of ten weeks I was able to review approximately forty individual and manuscript collections, fifty-five rare books, peruse the entire map collection related to the western portion of what would became the United States, and explore a great variety of graphic materials, ranging from family photo albums to railroad and auto tourist brochures.”

Scholars from across the globe visit us to work on books, articles, dissertations, creative projects, and more. To help encourage use of our rich historical sources on early America, the Library offers a number of fellowships, both long-term and short-term, available to graduate students, junior and senior faculty, and independent researchers traveling 200 miles or more. In 2018 we welcomed 15 fellows. Fellows are encouraged to present a brown bag talk or write a guest blog post related to their research.

Visit our website for more information and instructions on how to apply as well as to view a list of previous fellows and their projects. If appropriate, please consider posting fliers advertising these fellowships to interested researchers.  For questions, please email

William L. Clements Library Fellowships for 2019:

Fellowship for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in American History supports research at the Clements Library by graduate students or junior faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are undertaking a research project that examines topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion or who demonstrate a commitment to diversity in the field of American History. The award will be based largely on the significance of the Clements’ collection to the applicant’s research. Grants are for $1,000 and require a minimum visit of one week.

*NEW* Brian Leigh Dunnigan Fellowship in the History of Cartography is funded through donations honoring 22 years of service at the Clements Library by Brian Dunnigan, who served as Map Curator and Associate Director. During his tenure, Brian oversaw the fellowship program and mentored many fellows during their stay in Ann Arbor. The fellowship supports research utilizing the Clements Library’s cartographic collections. Grants are for $1,000 and require a minimum visit of one week.

Earhart Fellowship on American History was originally funded through a grant from the Earhart Foundation and now through an estate gift by Vera Wolfe. The Earhart fellowship provides $10,000 for scholarly research on any aspect of American history prior to 1901. Successful applicants are expected to spend a minimum of two months at the Clements. This is a post-doctoral fellowship that requires a completed Ph.D. or equivalent qualifications at the time of application.

*NEW* Richard and Mary Jo Marsh Fellowship has been provided by Clements Library Associate Board of Directors member Dick Marsh and his wife Mary Jo to fund any project supported by the Clements collections.  Grants are for $1,000 and require a minimum visit of one week.

Howard H. Peckham Fellowships on Revolutionary America is a post-doctoral fellowship requiring a completed Ph.D. or equivalent qualifications at time of application.  Longtime Clements Library Associates Board of Governors member Bill Earle created the fellowship for three reasons.  1) To honor the second director of the Clements Library, Howard Peckham  2) To memorialize his parents, George and Ruth Earle, who knew and supported Howard Peckham and 3) To provide funding for research projects studying early America from the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812 (1764-1815).  Bill encourages other donors to contribute to the Peckham Fund to help provide even more fellowships.

The long-term Peckham fellowship requires a residence of two months or more with an award of $10,000 and *NEW*  this year is the option to apply for a short-term fellowship which requires a residence of one week or more and provides an award of $1,000.

Jacob M. Price Visiting Research Fellowships were established to honor Professor Jack Price after his retirement as a distinguished member of the history faculty at the University of Michigan.  Since 1995, over 200 early-career historians have received Price Fellowships, with many going on to splendid careers of their own, such as 1997 Price Fellow Dr. Elizabeth Fenn, who recently won the Pulitzer Prize. Graduate students and junior faculty may apply with projects on any topic of American history that is supported by the collections. Grants are for $1,000 and require a minimum visit of one week.

Reese Fellowship in the Print Culture of the Americas, funded by the William Reese Company, encourages research in the history of the book and other print formats, bibliography, and other aspects of print culture in America, including publishing and marketing, from the sixteenth century to 1900. The Reese Fellowship provides $5,000 to support one month of in-residence study in the Clements Library collections. This is a post-doctoral fellowship requiring a completed Ph.D. or equivalent qualifications at time of application.

*NEW* Mary G. Stange Fellowship, funded by the Mary G. Stange Charitable Trust, offers $1,000 to support research on any topic of American history supported by the collections for a minimum visit of one week. Unique projects are encouraged.

Norton Strange Townshend Fellowship, established by the Avenir Foundation, offers $10,000 in support of scholarly research on diversity, equity and inclusion in American history during the nineteenth century. Successful applicants are expected to spend a minimum of two months at the Clements. This is a post-doctoral fellowship that requires a completed Ph.D. or equivalent qualifications at the time of application.

Friday, October 5, 2018

What's in Your Attic? Treasures Big and Small

The William L. Clements Library invited members of the public to join us on Sunday, September 30, 2018, for an event we called "What's in Your Attic?"  We encouraged attendees to bring their own paper treasures, such as letters, journals, photographs, prints, books, and maps, for discussion with Clements Curators and guest Americana collectors.  Our intentions were to garner enthusiasm for the Clements Library, gain some knowledge of exciting materials currently stewarded by private owners, learn more about our friends, build new relationships, and above all have a pleasurable time sharing fascinating stories buried in old paper.  This informal gathering took place in the beautiful Avenir Foundation Reading Room.  Families, collectors, aficionados, and colleagues came to the event for conversations about donation, storage and conservation, family history, and mutual interests.

Often, visitors express surprise that in addition to papers of Great Public Figures, the Clements Library acquires and collects the letters, diaries, documents, photographs, and other papers of everyday persons living everyday lives in Colonial America and the United States.  Not only do we care for over 100 of General George Washington's original letters, but also the correspondence of struggling farming families, social and religious activists, immigrant families, and economic players of all kinds.  Not only do we preserve and protect the hand-drawn maps of highly accomplished Revolutionary War military cartographers, but also map exercises of schoolchildren.  The following two manuscripts, donated to the Clements Library during the "What's in Your Attic?" event, suggest the breadth our collection.

Manuscript 1:  The Adam Ludewig Diary

Dr. Angela Del Vecchio brought to the Library a charming 8 x 15cm, 1885 pocket diary, kept by A. Ludewig of Alpena, Michigan.  The diarist wrote daily entries for the full year, each offering only the briefest mentions of his activities, expenses, and the weather.  A typical entry, for example, reads, "All well in Store. / at Church & SS- / [at Church] in Eve with Paul. / at my Sisters. / all well. / Fine Day, but Stormy."  Although not descriptive, the regular daily contributions to this little book give us unique insight into the life and activities of its author, of daily concerns and events that were especially important for him to remember.  A few hours of research gave us enough information about the diarist to contextualize the manuscript and help determine the significance of the piece.  A. Ludewig was Adam Ludewig, born in April 1862 in Germany.  His family immigrated to the United States sometime prior to 1871.  They settled in Alpena, on the Northeast shoreline of the lower peninsula of Michigan around the time of the Great Michigan forest fire.  He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1884.  At the time of the diary, in 1885, he worked as a clerk in a bookstore; he later became a businessman and bookseller in his own right.

What information about 22 and 23 year-old Mr. Ludewig are we able to secure from his diary?  We know that Ludewig took painting lessons on Sundays and spent time learning French.  We know that he spent nearly every day at his bookstore; he attended morning and evening Congregational Church services and Sunday School meetings; he regularly visited, received calls from, and corresponded with several unmarried young women; he visited his parents and played chess with his father; he was engaged in the local Freemason Lodge; he offered financial support to the German Aid Society and the Arbeiterverein; and he read often.  He read Titcomb's Letters to Young People, Single and Married by Josiah Holland; Nature's Serial Story by Edward P. Roe; His Sombre Rivals by Edward P. Roe; Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott; Farm Ballads by Will Carleton; an unspecified life of Washington; The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Goethe; and much else.  In short, this unassuming and sparse diary will support research on young adulthood, the intellectual and artistic life of a man in his early 20s, German Americans in Michigan, family dynamics, and much else.

Manuscript 2:  Abraham Lincoln partially-printed DS to William Warner

When Dr. Elizabeth Bishop informed the Library that she wished to donate her ancestor William Warner's commission, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, we envisioned one of the many ornate military officer's commissions, partially printed on vellum (and, of course, we looked forward to seeing it).  On arrival, however, we were excited to find that the document was of a much rarer sort--an appointment for William Warner to serve on the allotment commission for the state of Michigan.  On December 24, 1861, the United States Congress approved an Act to provide for Allotment Certificates (12 Stat. 331), which authorized President Lincoln to appoint up to three commissioners from each state to manage a voluntary program, by which soldiers could assign a percentage of their pay to be disbursed directly to specified family and friends.  The commissioners were unpaid volunteers, who sought out the soldiers of their respective states and procured documents certifying for allotments to be drawn from their pay for the benefit of those at home.  William Warner's appointment bears the signatures of President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and an embossed seal of the U.S. War Department.  The Bishop family preserved the document in an envelope of University of Michigan Librarian William Warner Bishop, marked as the property of University of Michigan Law School Professor William W. Bishop, Jr.  The envelopes still accompany the manuscript.

Cheney J. Schopieray
Curator of Manuscripts